The daily cost of the Vertical Travel Leads is less then the daily cost of a four-man crew and manual lead. However the initial purchase price is high...

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Vertical Configuration

Aft Batter Below Grade

Side Batter

Forward Reach

Raised Leads Above Grade

Forward Batter

LEAD SYSTEM Located in Hamilton, Ontario Canada, Berminghammer Foundation Equipment, is a manufacturer of advanced foundation equipment with 30 years of experience. The company is represented in more than 20 countries world wide, maintains an extensive Research and Development team, and has earned a reputation for finding the most practical solutions to the most challenging projects. The vertical travel lead, referred to as "VTL" system, was first developed and patented by C.W. Bermingham in the 1970's. This lead system was developed in response to the fundamental limitations of either a fixed lead or hanging lead system. The fixed lead system is well suited to level job sites with few obstructions and has the advantage of faster positioning of the lead. The hanging lead is very adaptable to different elevations and batter piles but takes much longer to position. Therefore the Vertical Travel Lead was developed to combine the advantages of fixed leads, fast and accurate positioning, with the ability to adjust the height of the lead base up or down. The VTL lead is connected to the boom by a sliding connection, which allows the lead to be elevated or lowered below grade. Many have recognized the advantages of the VTL system. They have become the Industry standard in Canada, US Railway Construction, and many parts of the USA. The structural column of the VTL will resist bending in forward, aft, and side batter positions. The hydraulic spotter is very rugged and will transmit torque to the body of the crane rather than the boom. Berminghammer Foundation Equipment manufactures seven different models of Vertical Travel Leads and many of the first sets are still in service today.

Well-Proven The Berminghammer Vertical Travel Lead system has been used for over thirty years, with installations on every type of crane.

Rugged and Simple The lead columns are ruggedly built to withstand the daily abuses of pile driving, even at the expense of extra weight. The spud-type lead weighs less than the conventional boxtype lead, with a range of 95 to 400 pounds per foot. The lightweight construction, combined with great strength, allow the leads to be used in any number of compound batters— up to 1:2 fore and aft and up to 1:3 side. The leads are simple to rig and un-rig—in some cases, piles are ready for driving in less than 3 hours from arrival on site. When rigged, the lead can be used as a jib, allowing the crane to be used to set steel, unload trucks, etc., without un-rigging the crane or using a service crane. The slim design of the lead gives the crane operator a better view for faster driving and greater on-site safety. Berminghammer Vertical Travel Leads are made to last, requiring little maintenance.


MODEL lb / ft Weight/Unit Lenth kg / m in Width – w mm in Depth – d mm Recommended lb max. hammer weight kg

‘C-12’ 85 127 17 432 12.63 321 10 000 4 500

L-15 127 165 20 508 15.63 397 18 000 8 200

L-18 148 220 21 533 18.75 476 34 000 15 400

L-23 235 350 21.2 538 23 584 46 000 20 800

L-27 310 461 25.25 641 27 686 58 000 26 300

L-36 400 595 30.4 772 36 914 70 000 31 800

Box 26 110 165 26.5 673 27 686 20 000 9 100

Box 32 160 240 32.5 826 38.5 978 34 000 15 400

Box 37 220 328 37.5 953 53 1346 50 000 22 700

HYDRAULIC KICKERS The kicker is an integral part of the Vertical Travel Leads, capable of up to 36 degrees side-to-side swing and can extend to over twice its pin-to-pin retracted length. Equalization cylinders automatically keep the front face of the lead parallel with the front face of the crane. This is very beneficial when

driving a straight bent of piles. Precise control of the hydraulic cylinders from within the crane cab gives precise placement of piles during driving. A wide range of sizes (from 13 feet (3.96 m) retracted to 25 feet (7.62 m) extended) and types of kickers (both manual and hydraulic) are available to suit any job.

Single Stage Kicker dimensions

Showing extended and retracted lengths Shown with 58” wide Heel Bracket, others available) *For kickers with drop type lugs, this dimension is 4 3/4”

KICKER MODEL Dimension ‘A’ Retracted Dimension ‘A’ Extended Dimension ‘B’ Retracted Dimension ‘B’ Extended Max. Angle - Horizontal slewing Maximum Slew - Retracted (“A”) Maximum Slew - Extended (“B”)

MHH-14 18’-8” 30’-1” 17’-7“ 29’ 33.0 ° 8’-3” 14’-6”

M/HHH-16 20’-8” 34’ 19’-7” 32’-11” 33.0 ° 9’-4” 16’-7”

HHH-18 22’-9” 38’-1” 21’-8“ 37’ 33.0 ° 10’-6” 18’-10”

HHH-20 24’-9“ 42’-1“ 23’-8“ 41’ 33.0 ° 11’-7” 21’

HHH-21.5 26’-3” 45’-1” 25’-3” 44’ 33.0 ° 12-5” 22’-8”

Note: The five most popular kicker models are listed above – many more models are available. Information on other kicker models is available upon request.




Berminghammer Leads have been designed to increase the productivity of the pile driving crew. By minimizing the movement of the crane, the time spent placing the pile under the hammer and spotting of the pile.

The daily cost of the Vertical Travel Leads is less then the daily cost of a four-man crew and manual lead. However the initial purchase price is higher.

The actual productive driving time may be increased from an industry average of 50% of the workday to 75% or more. At the “BIG DIG” Nicholson saw an increase from 5 insertions per day with a custom European piling rig to 12 insertions per day with a Berminghammer Vertical Travel Lead on a Manitowoc M-250.

After a nine month period the cost of operating a hanging lead system will be greater then the cost of a complete Vertical Travel System. An additional cost benefit will result from the increased production and reduction in false work and templates that are no longer required. Lead Comparison Based on Rental – Numbers based on Rental Rate + Work crew labour Costs

Berminghammer Vertical Travel Leads

Lead Comparison – Numbers based on Initial Purchase + Monthly Crew Labour costs Standard Swinging Box Leads

SAFETY Berminghammer Foundation Equipment (BFE) lead systems are engineered to meet the requirements of the project without exceeding the limits of the crane. Safe operating limits can be established in advance and BFE’s kickers contain safety stops, which prevent these limits from being exceeded. The primary increase in safety results from the smaller work crew size required to carry out the work. The piles are placed with the aid of the hydraulic spotter and lead. The crane operator and front end man are all that are required. The spotter and not the men position the piles.

ACCURACY Hydraulic positioning of the lead and pile provides greater accuracy and consistency in driving piles. Batter Piles can easily be driven to tight tolerances and the Vertical Travel Lead provides an improved alignment between hammer and pile. The Vertical Travel Lead System allows for fast and accurate positioning and alignment during splicing and re-driving of piles increasing productivity

ENGINEERING Berminghammer employs a staff of licensed civil, geotechnical, and mechanical engineers as well as draftsmen, designers and technicians. These professionals provide the highest level of technical expertise in the design and engineering of Berminghammer leader systems. To supplement our years of experience the Berminghammer engineering staff use state-of-the-art design tools such as the latest versions of CAD software including 3-D modeling and finite-element analysis. Berminghammer engineers also make use of field instrumentation and laboratory experiments to refine and optimize the design of our equipment. Measurements of strain, pressure, temperature, and load are made on a regular basis using in-house expertise and equipment. For larger instrumentation and research projects, Berminghammer frequently partners with other companies and universities. In the field of foundation equipment, Berminghammer’s engineering expertise is second-to-none.

1:4 AFT Batter – HHH 18 Kicker

1:4 Forward Batter – HHH 18 Kicker

Equivalent Weight Chart

Hammer Model

Example #1: 4505

Pile CL Radius from Crane CL



Pile CL Radius from Crane CL



Resulting Boom Tip Radius



Resulting Boom Tip Radius








Actual Weight lbs 17500 3000 17600 0 7500

Lead Head Box Hammer Pile Kicker

Hammer Model

Equivalent Weight lbs 27872 3413 39174 0 8922

Ratio 1.59 1.14 2.23 1.19

Component Lead Head Box Hammer Pile Kicker

Example #2: 3505

Actual Weight lbs 17500 3000 12000 5000 7500

Equivalent Weight lbs 16983 3201 15034 4876 3282

Ratio 0.97 1.07 1.25 0.98 0.44

Drilling Rock Sockets Bermingham Construction

Driving 90 ft long H-piles PCL

Soil Mixing SMW Seiko

Leads may be used to resist torque and provide additional crowding force when drilling rock sockets with reverse circulation drills.

Long leads can be used to drive piling in one piece eliminating splicing in the lead. It is possible to drive in excess of 4,000 feet per day.

Berminghammer Foundation Equipment supplied 3 sets of 150 ft long leads for the “BIG DIG” central artery project.

Crawler Cranes Gulf Intracoastal

Railroad Cranes Burlington Northern Santa Fe

Mobile Cranes Used for military applications

Berminghammer has supplied lead systems for almost every make of crawler crane from 30 ton to 300 ton capacity.

Almost every major US railway utilizes Vertical Travel Leads to build trestle bridges.

Accurate positioning of piles combined with high mobility and a simple rig up make this a great combination for small jobs

Locomotive cranes can travel while fully rigged and start driving as soon as they reach the bridge site.

Each lead system was designed to maintain verticality and resist pull out forces up to 100 tons.

ACCESSORIES Lead Extensions • Various lead extensions are available for specific applications

Pile Gates • Berminghammer manufactures a complete line of pile gates to be used with all types of lead systems and piles

Head Boxes • A variety of standard head boxes to attach the lead system to the crane boom tip are available. • Custom head box and lead attachments are available to suit virtually any railroad or crawler crane.

Hydraulic Power Sources • Berminghammer may retrofit the clients’ crane with hydraulic controls mounted in the operators cabin to control the lead systems. • An independent hydraulic power pack may be supplied to operate the lead system.

Winches • A Vertical Travel Lead System requires 4 lines to make use of all the advantages of the systems design. • Additional winches may be added to existing 2 and 3 drum cranes.

Wellington Street Marine Terminal, Hamilton Ontario, Canada L8L 4Z9 Tel: Fax: Toll-Free:

+1.905.528.0425 + 1.905.528.6187 +1.800.668.9432 (Canada & USA)

E-Mail: [email protected] Web: www.berminghammer.com Berminghammer Foundation Equipment and Bermingham Foundation Solutions are divisions of Bermingham Construction Limited. Copyright ©2008 Bermingham Construction Limited. Revised 2010